09/19/2004 11:00PM

Blue blood, blue collar are linked


ELMONT, N.Y. - Pedigree versus race record is what separates Great Pyramid and Polo Grounds, a two-horse entry trained by Kiaran McLaughlin in Wednesday's eighth race at Belmont Park.

, a full brother to multiple Group 1 winner Rock of Gibraltar, was bought for approximately $600,000 at Goffs in Ireland as a yearling. He has won one race from 13 starts. Polo Grounds, purchased at auction for $35,000 as a yearling, has a win and a second from two starts.

The McLaughlin runners are among 12 horses entered in the first-level allowance race, which will be run at a mile on the Widener turf.

Great Pyramid, whose one win came in a maiden race in 2002 in Ireland as a 2-year-old, makes his first start for McLaughlin. Last year, Great Pyramid ran in Europe, where his best race was a fifth-place finish in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas. This year, he ran three times in Canada without hitting the board. A couple of weeks after finishing ninth at Woodbine on July 25, Great Pyramid was transferred to McLaughlin's barn.

McLaughlin said that Great Pyramid's owner, William Murphy, bought the colt last year as a stallion prospect.

"He's a good-looking horse," McLaughlin said. "He was beaten four lengths in a Group 1, and we are sure hopeful he will be competitive in this race. We are anxious to get him started."

finished second behind a next-out winner in his career debut last October at The Meadowlands for trainer Michael Dickinson. McLaughlin began training Polo Grounds in May and returned him to the races on July 18, when the colt won a maiden race by a head.

Polo Grounds didn't run at Saratoga because he shed a frog, which acts as a protective cushion for a horse's hoof. McLaughlin said an aluminum pad was applied.

"The pad is off now, and he has been working well," McLaughlin said.

Polo Grounds has been training strongly at Saratoga, where he worked a bullet half-mile in 47 seconds on Sept. 6. He followed with another half-mile in 48.38, seven days later.

In lone grass race, he was an easy winner here in June. A subsequent poor race on the dirt looks like a toss-out.

Fifth Edition also returns to the grass, where he won a maiden race in May. Castle Heights, who romped to a nine-length win in the slop in his last start, has run decently on grass.